By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Head of Human Rights Commission (HRC) delegation Mwelwa Muleya says there is need for the media to protect and promote people’s rights, by letting citizens express their divergent views as the campaigns begin.
Speaking yesterday when the commission engaged the media in the review and validation of the election monitoring tool for political parties ahead of the August polls, Mr Muleya said the media should not in anyways interfere in people’s choices, thereby facilitating for free and fair elections.
“For elections to be free and fair, all various media violations should be exposed, so that free and fair elections prevail. As much as the media is under pressure during the period of elections, journalists must endeavor to subdue their political values, report with integrity above all be impartial.
“Good governance and elections play a very vital role in maintaining democracy, which is the reason the media should reflect Zambia as a multi-party state,” he said.
And HRC representative Charity Sabi said the commission investigates and reports matters of violations using the help of the media, hence the call for journalists to report with impartiality.
Ms Sabi called on journalists to always protect children in their reporting and the less privileged whose rights have been violated.
She said that the commission has the right to summon any person in the country who has been reported to have infringed on any human being’s right.
“The human rights commission has the right to release any person who has been in police custody without fair trial and has been held without bail bond,” she said.